Build Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Understand the role artificial intelligence plays in an account-based marketing strategy.
- Identify which accounts to target.
- Build an account-based strategy.
Technology and ABM
You’ve got the idea, and you’ve got the tools, so now let’s talk about how to build your account-based marketing strategy. ABM is all about targeting key accounts, so the first step is choosing which accounts to target.
One of the most interesting things about account-based marketing is that emerging marketing technology makes it even smarter. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a new but rapidly growing element of the B2B marketing technology stack, and it’s especially exciting for ABM.
AI enables Pardot and Sales Cloud to become even more intelligent. Now your intelligent tools can find and analyze patterns for you, ensuring that when you’re choosing accounts to target, you have suggestions based on patterns in your data. AI can also help you identify the impact your marketing and sales teams have on your ultimate success with prospects.
Choose the Right Accounts
Intentional account selection is critical to the success of any ABM strategy. Use B2B Marketing Analytics to look through your customer data for accounts that generate a large amount of revenue for your business. This is a great opportunity to look at the patterns and uncover opportunities to land additional accounts. Choose some metrics to help you spot the patterns in your data. These can include company or deal size, industry segment, or even location. Which ones you choose depends on the goals for your business.
Build a Customized Campaign
After you choose which accounts to target, your marketing team can start building a customized campaign around each one. Remember, you need to create unique experiences for each target account to make sure you’re really connecting with prospects. To personalize your content, think about the characteristics of the account you’re targeting. Is it a large company or a small one? Where is it located? What kind of industry is it in? Using the data from Salesforce, you can find the answers to some of these questions and create content that addresses each account.
For example: For a welding company based in the Midwest, you can send a personalized e-newsletter that features links to videos and blog posts about welding and midwestern metalworks.
Keep Sales and Service Involved
According to the fourth State of the Connected Customer report from Salesforce, 76% of customers expect consistent interactions across departments. However, 54% say it generally feels like sales, service, and marketing don’t share information. At every stage, marketing, sales, and service must work closely together to make sure you’re meeting the needs of customers.
One way to keep aligned is to share your metrics. Make sure that your goals for your marketing and sales teams connect. For example, revenue is a metric that marketing and sales teams can share to make both teams accountable. It also gives the teams easy access to new insights about how their efforts are shaping business. To tie in your service team, look at how your accounts are doing after they close the deal, and make sure that marketing and sales are both working with service to check in on current customers.
This video offers a great way to think about ABM.
Thoughtful planning and a spirit of “try, try again” are key factors for achieving ABM success. Research proves it. The Boston Consulting Group found that 50% of ABM programs failed in their first attempt—but 75% of scaled ABM programs succeeded after regrouping. It’s important to remember that account–based marketing initiatives are iterative. So don’t be afraid to test new strategies and tactics and correct course along the way. Some suggestions for starting your ABM program include:
- Focus on each account or business as a whole unit instead of individuals within the unit.
- Find commonalities among your accounts that bring in the most revenue.
- Meet with strategic leaders in sales, marketing, and customer support to determine which accounts to target and how to influence them.
- Create your personalized content.
- Based on previous research, identify the best channels to reach your target accounts.
- Run your campaign.
- Evaluate your campaign by looking at the answers to questions such as:
- Did our personalized content engage the customer? How?
- Are the accounts more engaged with us?
- Did any of the targeted accounts move farther down the funnel?
- How much revenue did these campaigns generate?
Remember, with ABM you can market smarter by choosing the right accounts to target with your customized campaigns. Always keep sales and service involved, and always keep learning and evaluating your work. You got this!